Talk to Your Doctor
About Healthy Sleep
Your doctor can help you learn how to improve your sleep.
You can get healthy sleep, and get more out of it. Smart, effective ways to overcome your personal sleep challenges do exist. Fortunately, most sleep problems can be treated without medication—if they’re identified early. Your doctor can help. The sooner you start a conversation, the easier it will be to identify and treat the cause.
Talking to your doctor about improving your sleep.
Sleep can sometimes feel like self-care that can wait, or secondary to other things you do for your health. But the opposite is true. So, if you don’t feel you’re getting the healthy sleep you need, talk to your doctor about it. Ways to start the conversation are:
- If you have been keeping a sleep diary, share your completed sleep diary with your doctor, who can help you determine the best ways to improve your sleep.
- You can also talk with your doctor about your sleep even if you don’t think you have a sleep problem. Together, you can figure out what healthy sleep looks like for you and how to get it. This will help you prevent future sleep difficulties before they become harder to treat.
Sleep disorders vs. sleep problems.
Most sleep problems aren’t as severe as chronic insomnia or sleep apnea, so they’re treatable without medications or CPAP machines. Lifestyle changes like spending more time outdoors or avoiding caffeine late in the day can make a big difference.
However, there are a wide variety of sleep disorders. Some are common, like insomnia, jet lag, sleepwalking, snoring, and restless legs syndrome. Others are rarer. About 70 million people experience sleep disorders each year. All are treatable.
Fortunately, testing for sleep disorders can now be done at home in many cases, and telemedicine frequently can be used to provide convenient sleep care. Your doctor can help pinpoint the right test for you.